Black Philanthropy Initiative

Launched in 2007, the Black Philanthropy Initiative (BPI) serves as a model for rethinking philanthropy in Forsyth County’s black community.  Through engagement and encouragement, BPI educates people to utilize their philanthropic strengths of time, talent, and treasure to impact meaningful change and address identified needs in the black community.


The Black Philanthropy Initiative is led by a group of community volunteers who acknowledge the traditions of sharing in the black community and seek to expand charitable giving through education and impact.

advisory committee
  • Melvin Scales
  • Corlis Sellers-Drummond
    1st Vice Chair
  • Leroy Davis
    2nd Vice Chair | Treasurer | Chair, Grants Committee
  • Takeisha Redd
    Secretary | Chair, Governance

  • Mae Rodney
    Chair, Resource Development
  • Robin Barksdale Ervin
  • Shawan Gabriel
  • Nicole Gentles
  • Tamisha Keith
  • Nicole Little
  • Roshanda McCrimmon
  • Brittany Norton
  • George Redd
  • Leslie Sadler
  • Michael Silver
  • Tiffany Waddell Tate
  • Carrie M. Woods


The Black Philanthropy Initiative will offer two types of grants in 2020.

Impact Grants

BPI’s Impact Grants are investments in local programs, projects, and initiatives that support issues impacting the black community in Forsyth County. In particular, this program is looking to invest in black-led organizations/groups with annual budgets of less than $150,000, recognizing that there are local groups/organizations doing impactful work that are newer and/or have smaller budgets than their counterparts. While Impact Grants are typically investments of up to $1,000, grants up to $5,000 were offered during the August 2020 grant round.

The Impact Grant round has passed and BPI is planning another round in 2021.

  • Building Resources in Disadvantaged Groups Through Economic & Empowerment (BRIDGE) – $1,000 to collaborate with Winston-Salem State University’s Center for Entrepreneurship to promote financial literacy workshops to students and entrepreneurs.
  • Hoops4L.Y.F.E – $1,000 to purchase materials for STEAM activities offered at afterschool and summer enrichment camps.
  • Kimberly Park Tennis Association – $1,000 to provide financial assistance for tennis tournament fees for youth participants.
  • Hope to Thrive $5,000 to provide food and services to families of color that promote health and well-being  
  • Journee Bees Village $5,000 to provide virtual financial education, social and emotional support, and career planning to young men
  • Love Community Development Corporation – $5,000 to support senior volunteers offering virtual tutoring in reading for students in grades K-3
  • The Wells Center Inc. $1,800 to support a post-release program for formerly incarcerated women
  • Winston-Salem African American Archive $5,000 for educational presentations and tours featuring the history of the local African American community
  • Masjid Al-Muminun $5,000 for food basket distribution for families living in poverty and scholarships for students pursuing higher education
Equity in Education Grants

BPI’s traditional grantmaking round has a primary focus of Advancing Racial Equity in Education. In April 2020, BPI postponed its spring grant cycle, instead making direct investments to local schools to address equity issues around remote student learning, recognizing that technology and Internet access have become a heightened equity issue with the closing of schools.

BPI is planning another Equity in Education grant cycle for Fall 2020.

APRIL 2020 Grant Recipients
  • Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools – $10,000 to provide resources for students to fully engage in remote learning
  • Quality Education Academy – $5,000 to provide resources for students to fully engage in remote learning
  • Carter G. Woodson School – $5,000 to provide resources for students to fully engage in remote learning
BPI’s Recent Report: Rethinking Philanthropy

Rethinking Philanthropy:  An Exploration of Black Communities in Forsyth County was published by BPI in 2018. This report draws attention to black history in Forsyth County and its direct influence on systemic issues and inequities still prevalent in our community today.

HOW TO Get Involved

Attend an Event

Whatever it Takes: Supporting Our Students & Educators of Color  
Join us for BPI's virtual fundraising event on Thursday, October 15 at 6:30 PM to learn more about their work and to hear a panel discussion focused on education. Register now


The Black Philanthropy Initiative would not be able to do its work without the involvement of active volunteers who serve on committees. Volunteers are invited to become involved on a BPI subcommittee including Board Development and Governance, Events and Marketing, Grants, or Resource Development. Email Shamika Starke to get engaged.


Gifts to the Black Philanthropy Fund support grantmaking to organizations that address racial equity in education in Forsyth County.

Gifts to the Black Philanthropy Initiative Endowment will support BPI's efforts in perpetuity—to further support, educate, and engage the greater community in cultivating philanthropic solutions to address identified needs in the black community.

Donate now
For more information
Andrea Hulighan
Director, Strategic Initiatives
(336) 604-5034
Shamika Starke
Manager, Strategic Initatives
(336) 604-5160
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